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Oxford Inscriptions: British Workman


 

1880
THIS SITE WAS GIVEN BY
MRS BALLACHEY
AND THE BUILDINGS WERE ERECTED
AT THE EXPENSE OF
MISS NICHOL
FOR THE PROMOTION OF TEMPERANCE
IN THIS PARISH

This inscription is set into the front wall of 67 Old High Street, Headington, which was once the Headington British Workman.

The British Workman Movement started in the north of England in the 1860s with the aim of establishing alcohol-free public houses for working men, and the Headington one opened on 30 December 1880.

Maria Ballachey (née Lock) was an 83-year-old widow who lived in Bury Knowle House behind Old High Street.

Mary Ann Nichol, born in Dumfries in Scotland, was a 64-year-old spinster who lived with her sister Margaret Nichol opposite the British Workman at Jessamine or Jesmond Cottage (now 83 Old High Street). Paradoxically she was the niece of one of Oxford’s most successful wine merchants, Edward Latimer, who lived nearby in Headington House.


The British Workman in Headington

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013